There have been various studies that seek to determine the relationship between fibromyalgia symptoms and magnesium levels. Magnesium plays a major role in the bodies nervous system, muscle functioning and repair, sleep cycles, and mood. Therefore, many experts have suggested that it should be studied further for fibromyalgia patients. This literature review aims to determine how magnesium levels are measured, what various treatments have been administered, and what effect those have had.
18 studies were found that examined magnesium and fibromyalgia symptoms. It was found that many of the population sizes were small, a major limitation to drawing widespread conclusions. There were many discrepancies between studies. First, there were different ways and areas in the body that magnesium levels were measured. Some studies measured magnesium in tissue compartments, or serum, while other’s measured platelets. In those initial measurements, some studies found lower levels in fibromyalgia patients when compared to the control groups, while others found no difference, and one even found higher levels. Treatment methods ranged from oral magnesium to topical, and many studies combined magnesium with other nutrients or protocols such as exercise or diet. These methods confounded any results and makes it difficult to determine the efficacy of magnesium alone. Measurement methodology also differed, with some studies measure pain levels, moods, or sleep. The results were also mixed, with some treatments reported by participants as positive effects, and others no change.
Clinical trials need to be better designed to truly test if fibromyalgia patients are magnesium deficient, and if so, what method of deployment is most effective, and what symptoms does it treat. Specifically, the study needs to be a blinded randomized placebo-controlled study with magnesium as the only intervention.
The studies included differed significantly, so no conclusions could be drawn, other than the need for more uniform testing.